Proverbs 29 NIV
PLUS MY NOTES
1 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
God is so merciful, He will rebuke us, correct us, nudge us, urge us, send someone to try to stop us if we are headed in the wrong direction. He doesn't want us to go headlong in the direction of our enemy. So He works with us. But He will not strive with us forever. There will come a time where He gives in to your will. When that happens; and I hope it never does, we come into the fullness of the reward for our despising of His will.
2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
When the righteous are in authority, the wicked do not rejoice, but the people in general will. The greater good of the people will be accomplished and overall the nation will improve and things will go better, but there's no guarantee that the wicked will like it. They'll always find something wrong with the righteous.
3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
Good or evil: where you spend your money will either bring glory or shame. When you are watching over someone and helping them grow, you hope they choose the good and not the evil. You hope they spend their time and energy on what you know is right. If they choose the wrong, you know its going to cost you again, because they're most likely going to come knocking when they run out of resources.
4 By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.
If a king's heart is to do the right thing he will resist bribes. But if they're greedy for self-gain the nation will suffer for it. The nation and its welfare was never their first priority.
5 Those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet.
If you're not the kind of person who is normally super generous with compliments and adulation, then when that type of flow starts coming from your mouth we know something else is up. You have an ulterior motive.
6 Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.
The wicked really have to watch their step because there are snares all around for them, but the people who do right can dance and shout carefree. They are innocent and have nothing to fear.
7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
When you are intent on helping yourself, the concerns of others never come into view. You don't really care. You're concerned for yourself not others. But the righteous, the ones who have a right relationship with God, know that God is taking care of their well-being, so they can trust Him with their own lives and begin to be concerned for others.
8 Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.
When immature and spiteful people don't get their way, they won't let anyone be at peace. They kick and scream until the whole city or country is in an uproar. But the wise know that peace is valuable and true rulers can be persuaded toward right actions with intelligent and wise conversation.
9 If a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
A foolish man is intent on having his own way, even if he has to throw a temper tantrum to get it. Even if you take the foolish man to court to get justice, the fool is still going to act the same way. You'll never get peace unless the judge is intent on justice and not just quiet and peace.
10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity and seek to kill the upright.
The bloodthirsty, those full of hatred and intent on expressing that hatred through murder are possessed by an ungodly spirit. They are compelled to rid the earth of righteous ways and righteous people. The very presence of the righteous condemns them in the depth of their souls. They know the path they have chosen and want to eliminate all opposition to it.
11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
A person who has no self-control in expressing their discontent is reckless and dangerous. They only care for themselves and their opinions. But wise person knows there's a lot more to it, so they maintain calm throughout.
12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.
Those near a ruler perceive the power that is evident in that seat of authority. Kings are supposed to sit on their throne and winnow out all evil with their eyes, but if a king begins to listen to things that aren't true, his staff will see that its safe to be dishonest. They will go that way.
13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.
God is not aloof to our pain, nor the oppression placed on us by others. He will act as the judge on the appointed day, but he started this as the creator of this world. Although he will judge us all, the poor and the one who oppresses him both received their life, breath and sight from the creator of us all.
14 If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever.
God is always on the lookout: how are you treating those who cannot help themselves? When someone comes into authority, they may be totally self-centered; God doesn't have much use for them. But if one comes into power who actually has the interests of others in mind, especially those who can't help themselves, then God is quite interested in them in that position. Its in God's best interest to keep them in that position a long time.
15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
A lobster without a shell has no real definition of character, a child without the protective shell and covering of parental discipline will end up not being like his parents and thus bring shame on the family.
16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.
If there is a weakness in people's hearts or character toward sin then when they see others sin and prospering in it then sin is on the increase, but rest assured...payday always comes. Sinners will not prosper...keep watching, you'll see it.
17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.
Oh, its so wonderful when your children's hearts and lives are full of truth, light and self-discipline. But it doesn't just grow in their hearts naturally, you need to put it there. Not only that, until they have it on their own, you need to be their self-discipline; you correct them.
18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
Restraint comes from having a vision; from seeing something worth disciplining towards. Fill your heart with the knowledge of God's will. It's worth pursuing. His will is His word.
19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words; though they understand, they will not respond.
The language of an employee is a paycheck. Correction must come in a way that people will feel it; it must affect more than their hearing for them to 'get it'.
20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
The mouth is a gate. Some people's mouths don't close properly, so whatever is passing through the brain comes out quickly. If that's you, people will have a hard time not mistaking you for a fool.
21 A servant pampered from youth will turn out to be insolent.
A servant born in your house could be raised to be a son or to be rude and insolent. If sonship is your goal for him, someone is still going to have to do the dishes. Will he perform? Or will you have someone else do it?
22 An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.
Some things don't go right for people. When they have a picture on the inside of the about how things should be and they aren't that way in real life, nor are they able to make them that way - it causes a reaction. Either they handle it well or they blow up; it all depends on their moral character. If they are the kind to blow up crazily, know this, they can't really be trusted. You'll always have to be on guard around them.
23 Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.
When you think you know it all, please receive this guarantee, there will always be someone who is bigger, stronger, smarter, more talented who will humble you. But if you receive everyone else as a gift and honor them, you will too will be like and find much honor.
24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies; they are put under oath and dare not testify.
Some people think they can get rich quick by stealing. But, some don't think their smart enough or strong enough so they find someone else doing it and help them. When they are caught and charged, no matter which way they go, they are in serious trouble. If they accuse the one they were helping his wrath may be worse than the court.
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Since God is invisible it is easy to forget about him and exalt other people, even to fear them. But let's keep things in perspective: God is God! If anyone is to be feared its Him. Get your heart set on pleasing God and everything else will work out.
26 Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.
You could ask the ruler for justice or favor or you could ask God. God is the ultimate source of what you need and want so you might as well ask Him.
27 The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.
Righteous people strive to do right and dishonest people mess that up for them. Dishonest people try to do wrong and the righteous people are always messing that up for them. Those two groups really don't like each other.